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Self drive is one major attribute that everyone should possess. Some people wait to be pushed like dead cars before they move; and if not pushed, they remain where they are. How long will people continue to wake a dead man up? No one has the time for that. And how long will you continue to inspire someone who isn’t willing or ready to aspire? Because everyone has got their own issues to deal with, your best bet to reach the picture in your heart is to get up and drive yourself towards your perceived image.

In spite of the above said, I have realised that many drive too fast. I have also realised that good visions can kill if the driver negates caution signs. In literal sense, many who have died through motor accidents were heading to good destinations for good purposes. Their good destinations and purposes didn’t stop them from crashing either because of their own devices or another person’s stupidity. For this reason, we must understand the various common sense steps of self drive.

Common Sense 1 – Every drive has a starting point: A speedometer begins from zero; you also must begin from zero. Some people want to be heroes from the very days of zeroes. Do you think that is possible? No car attains a speed of 50 kilometres per hour without starting from the beginning. This may hurt you, but every beginning starts with and from zero. If you want to drive yourself, start from where every winner starts from; otherwise, whatever you do is illusion or maybe, hallucination. No matter how talented you are, haste will kill you. You can only gather momentum to fly when you acknowledge your starting point and do what should be done at the beginning. What should be done is laying a good foundation for a better future. The airplane prepares for the heights by going slowly on the ground, so that it can gather enough force to push it into the sky. You aren’t gathering force if you don’t begin from the starting point.

Common Sense 2 – Know when to accelerate: You will be stuck if you use the whole of your life to gather force without intending to accelerate. You will head nowhere if you build up unused forces. The airplane will remain on the ground if it keeps moving round the tarmac without pushing its nose up against the wind. Some people are still on the ground preparing to fly for ages, but never taking the courage to accelerate. You can’t drive on gear one for a long distance journey because you will never get there, and you may even end up damaging your engine. Increase your speed; stop being naïve.

Common Sense 3 – Understand the stage of uniformity: When a car accelerates, it doesn’t keep accelerating all through the journey. At most points of the journey, it maintains a certain speed. That speed is enough to keep it going smoothly and safely. At that uniform speed, the driver can chat with the passengers if there are any, or think about something else while still maintaining focus.

Every self drive needs a point of safety where a certain speed limit is maintained. Above what can be maintained is grave danger. Many young people and some so called adults go beyond their limit, and then crash. You must drive at a speed that is comfortable for you; never copy another person’s speed if you can’t maintain it. As you push your dreams and visions forward, you’re the only one who understands your strengths and weaknesses; you know your abilities and inabilities. I know that I usually challenge people to go beyond limitations, but please consider your genetics as you self drive. If your nature can’t condone a certain speed, settle where it agrees with your chemistry. I am not asking you to be lazy or remain in a comfort zone; I am simply telling you to maximise your inner potentials without trying to be a mirror-image of another person.

Common Sense 4 – Know when to decelerate: In a drive, you don’t always maintain a uniform speed; you must learn to drop speed when danger is sensed. Understanding your road and other factors within will help you know what to do. Even airplanes in the sky drop speed sometimes, when danger is perceived. Self drive without common sense kills. You can become whatever you want to become if you have just enough common sense to push yourself. You don’t have to beat the speed limit to make a statement. You don’t have to ignore warning signs because you want to quickly finish before everyone else, or maybe, you want to take first position. Self drive is best when it is safe. It may be safe for someone else but if it isn’t for you, ignore who is ahead of you and move within your remit. Many crash chasing those ahead because they never understood that skills and availability of resources differ with various people. A competitor that is ahead may have acquired additional skills, obtained some loans from the bank or had an investor’s input, or maybe, had access to some essential extra resources useful for business. But without a sound check, you want to do the same thing he did without knowing the source of what was done. And as you dig into your pocket to achieve the same result, you carelessly make a hole in it, and lose your operational capital. Sooner than later, your business comes to an abrupt halt because you were involved in a Formula One car race when your engine wasn’t designed for that purpose!

Common Sense 5 – Only idiots drink and drive: When I talk about drinking, I am talking about motivation. Motivation is good, but it won’t teach you common sense. There is a stage to put motivation aside, and weigh the pros and cons. If you don’t, you will be inspired to death. Motivation teaches you nothing, it only challenges you to do something. It can even challenge you to do the wrong thing if you haven’t got any iota of wisdom in your skull.

Control your fire when you’re ignited. The best way to control your fire is to have enough knowledge of what you do. Don’t drive into a pursuit without understanding the in and out. One major problem with entrepreneurship in Africa is that once a person achieves success in a particular business, everyone jumps into it without knowing where it’s heading to. I remember the days when pure water business began in Nigeria, we had a lot of impure waters packaged to kill; nothing was really pure in most of those waters. Currently, fast food restaurant business is ubiquitous, and how many have broken even or even on the path of breaking even? Some people are intoxicated with going into business, which is fine, but many are above the drink-drive limit, and so there isn’t common sense or enough capacity to make quality decisions.

Common Sense 6 – Know when to stop: Every drive has a destination; don’t go beyond your original intention except for the better. If you keep going without stopping, you are a fool, because whether you like it or not, the car will stop. When your petrol finishes, you will be forced to a stop. If you don’t deliberately stop in a place of sense, you will stop abruptly in a place of nonsense, which may be a deserted highway. Over there, you will be stranded. Be driven to achieve all that you want to achieve, but go with common sense. Common sense in entrepreneurship takes you to the top; stupidity brings you down. If there’s one thing you need in business, career or talent, it is the wisdom to make good decisions. Never ever joke with it!

The above article was first published on African Leadership Magazine

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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